(To read about and become a part of #LUPA, start here.)
I have made it my life to learn. Learn from life and people, and then teach and learn from myself, and then learn from my students, and so on and so forth. If you are a fellow life student, as I am, you know that one of the best ways to learn is listening, and finding a lesson in any event or person.
One of the lessons that seems to be coming back up in my life lately is how people assign things to circumstances that they decided at a moment’s notice years ago, and still apply to this day and age.
- Once upon a time you befriended a creative spirit who was an amazing friend, but would always flake out on you at the last minute in plans. One time, this person did to you on a very important date, and you made a mental decree to never get close to a creative spirit because they would be flakey.
- You fell in love with someone who was a little bit older than you’re normally comfortable dating, and you spent your entire relationship with them felt misunderstood so you make a mental decree to never date older again.
- You went out on a limb once and got burned, so despite the two other times you went out on a limb and didn’t get burned, you make a mental decree to play it safe.
- A specific date or month will “always be awful” because of something really challenging that happened to you months ago.
- Since this one person made you feel X way once, that’s how it will always be and that’s how they will always be and you will never be friends ever again.
And in case you don’t think these are the types of things you do, here’s another one that I know almost everyone has done:
- You can never ever ever listen to that song/artist/album ever again because it reminds you of that person.
We all have rules we place on ourselves, mental decrees we make to help us avoid emotional aches we do not want to deal with.
There is great value in giving ourselves time to heal, and in that sense, mental decrees are worthwhile. However, imagine having a manual that tells you how to use a computer, then updating that computer year after year, but never updating the manual.
Your mental decrees should be helpful to you in the sense that they help you identify how to Be You. But if you are not taking into account your growth, then you might as well be using an outdated manual.
Let me explain it another way. If you tell yourself that you still can’t cope with something, even though time has elapsed, you are not giving yourself an opportunity to learn to get through something. You should strive to protect yourself in life so that you can continue to thrive and live, not to limit you and keep you small. If you assign meanings to songs, events, and people, without giving them an opportunity to be a BRAND NEW EXPERIENCE, you are limiting yourself from life. You are limiting yourself from a new extravagant and bold friend, from experiencing bursts of joy and healthy safe love, from discovering a new place, from learning something new, from expanding your mind, from becoming a more understanding friend and a more compassionate and empathetic human –just to name a few.
We all assign meanings to things because there’s also a wonderful side to this, remembering a first date that makes us smile because of a song that comes on the radio, getting along with an entire subculture of people because we decided we ‘get along’ with that specific group, pride for our people when we wear certain colors, etc.
Today on day Eight of #LUPA, let’s take a step back and look at what meanings we’ve assigned to things, and why. Let’s start things off easy…I bet some of you out there woke up this morning and groaned because it was Monday.
Think about that…if you were to look at Monday scientifically, through research, and then look at how you feel about Monday regardless of the conclusion, then that is the way to identify what meanings you have assigned to Monday. It’s now what “everyone else thinks”, it’s what you’ve AGREED to believe as well.
Look at the meanings around your life…what parts are limiting you, and what parts are helping you soar? Which ones are causing you to feel like you lack something, and which ones are promoting gratitude inside yourself? The point is not to judge and feel guilty, but to be aware and if we want –to reassign.
Have a fantastic Monday. And leave the defining to Webster, he’s had more experience. 😉